Vulnerable group

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A vulnerable group is a set of persons bearing common characteristics that has an increased probability to be victimised.

Identification of vulnerable groups

A vulnerable group is characterised by the fact that it is

  • identifiable by potential perpetrators as a group
  • has qualities that attract potential perpetrators to the group[1]

The identification by this mechanism should be done for all security issues that concern persons.

Kidnapping

Vulnerable groups for kidnapping can be identified by checking:

  • are persons present which have relations to persons or organisations that have both the resources and willingness to protect them by paying a ransom if abducted or made hostage?
  • are these facts known or indistinguishable by potential kidnappers?
  • can potential kidnappers identify these persons?

this can concern employees, family or relatives of rich persons or organisations with large resources or access to large resources

Pickpocketing

Vulnerable groups for pickpocketing can be identified by checking:

  • are people present that are occupied with other things than their belongings? Examples are tourists (looking at surroundings), people operating an ATM, travellers looking at the schedule, etc.
  • are they in a position that allows other people to get (very) close without raising suspicion? Examples are travellers in bus, tram, train or metro, waiting lines, crowds, etc.
  • are they identifiable as having valuable goods or easy access to the goods? Examples are tourists who are often easily distinguishable from locals by dress and behaviour and are carrying valuable cameras and travellers who carry suitcase, etc.

Snatch theft

Vulnerable groups for snatch theft can be identified by checking:

  • are persons around that carry small, valuable objects? Examples are handbags (containing telephone, wallet, etc.), telephone, (tablet)computers, etc.
  • can they be identified? Are these object visible, or obviously present?
  • can they be easily be separated from their belongings? Examples are breaking of shoulder straps of ladies' purses, ripping off shoulder bags or smashing car windows at a traffic light to snatch the laptop case on the passengers seat.
  • can the thief leave the scene of the crime in such a way that apprehension is unlikely? Examples are flight by scooter, running in a crowd, disappearing in a 'maze' or hiding.

Robbery with assault

Vulnerable groups for robbery with assault can be identified by checking

  • are persons around that carry small, valuable objects? Examples are handbags (containing telephone, wallet, etc.), telephone, (tablet)computers, etc.
  • do these persons visit, or can they be made to visit, secluded areas?

Physical assault

Vulnerable groups for physical assault can be identified by checking:

  • are persons present who are more likely to be victims of assault? Examples are persons who have a record of falling victim to assault or persons with belong to discriminated groups.
  • are persons present who have reduced defences to assault? Examples are certain kinds of bodily or mentally disabled people.

Sexual assault

Vulnerable groups for sexual assault can be identified by checking:

  • are persons present?
  • do these persons visit, or can they be made to visit, secluded areas where sexual acts can take place without public detection.
  • do these persons visit, or can they be made to visit, crowded places where sexual acts (such as unwanted fondling) can take place which can be denied.

Verbal abuse, bullying

Vulnerable groups for verbal abuse or bullying can be identified by checking:

  • are persons present who are more likely to be victims of verbal abuse? Examples are persons who have a record of falling victim to verbal abuse, groups with a strong segregation to society or persons with belong to discriminated groups.
  • are persons present who have reduced defences to verbal abuse? Examples are young children or certain kinds of mentally disabled people.

Murder

Vulnerable groups for murder cannot be identified on the basis of external properties.

Mass killing

Vulnerable groups for mass killing can be identified by checking:

  • are persons present which have opponents which are fanatics?
  • are large crowds of people present which would have a symbolic value?

Footnotes and references

  1. references to be added